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The value of information in soccer betting

Knowing about something before anyone else is the key to successful betting. Instead of wasting time with soccer betting tips, smart bettors will collate as much information as possible, analyse the impact it could have on the market and then bet accordingly. Information could change the way you bet and the results you get. Read on to find out why.

Low margins and high limits are very important to bettors, but so too is the right kind of information. Those who can get hold of accurate information and act on it before anyone else will reap the rewards - as soon as it is common knowledge, a bookmaker will have already made adjustments to the odds.

 

Closing line

The last available odds offered before a market closes. Bettors who "beat the closing line" have placed a bet offering a superior return to the final odds offered; consistently beating the closing line is a sign of a successful bettor.

GLOSSARY

Information doesn’t always provide you with a winning selection to bet on, but it will help you consistently beat the closing line - this means the smallest detail about how a team or individual might perform is crucial if you want to get the odds with the best value.

Bettors have various sources of information - it could be anything from a digital feed to a contact with inside information. These sources can provide insight into team news, how a player is feeling or even more irregular occurrences like a team not wanting to play due to a pay dispute.

What’s wrong with soccer betting tips?

While tipsters might have comprehensive knowledge of the sport they bet on, the advice they give is just a subjective opinion. Of course, some tipsters appear to have an impressive record and know what they’re doing but on closer inspection, things like luck and survivorship bias will play a part.

Conversely, factual information is just that - a fact. Everyone has access to some information about a certain sporting event, but being the first to know about something or being privy to information that no one else is aware of is what gives bettors an edge.

Someone who provides soccer betting tips might predict that Team A will beat Team B because their head-to-head record favours Team A and Team B is on a poor run of form. A smart bettor, however, might get value out of Team B’s odds by betting on them the day before the match when they learn that Team A’s best player was injured in training.

Examples of how information benefits bettors

Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna

One recent example of how getting hold of information before anyone else can be beneficial is the recent Real Madrid vs. Deportivo La Coruna game in La Liga. In this case, announcements made regarding Madrid’s starting line up in the pre-match press conference the day before the game had a major impact on the odds.

If you placed a €100 bet on the draw in this game, the potential returns would have dropped from €955 to €768 within half an hour.

While the majority of bettors would have learned of Zinedine Zidane’s intention to rest Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema during the press conference, some would have known about it beforehand. The shift in Pinnacle’s odds shows just how important knowing about this kind of information could be.

Pinnacle’s Total Goals market initially opened as Under 4 goals at 1.962. This price remained steady until a few hours before the aforementioned press conference. After the news became common knowledge, Pinnacle’s Total Goals market moved to Under 3 goals at 2.050 before closing at 1.917 for Under 3.25 goals.

This highlights how two bettors could make two completely different bets on the same market - with one getting much better value for their bet because of the information they have and the timing of the bet. The same applies to the Handicap market of this game with Real Madrid moving from -2.75 at 2.050 to -1.75 at 1.917.

Barcelona vs. Malaga

Another similar example of team news influencing betting odds is Barcelona’s match against Malaga in late 2016. On this occasion, the team’s had already been announced. However, during the warm-up before the game, it was reported that Lionel Messi had been sick in the player’s tunnel.

Within half an hour of the news breaking, the odds on a Malaga win moved from 19.50 to 15.00, with the odds on the draw shortening from 9.55 to 7.68. The Handicap market moved by half a goal - Barcelona was -2.5 at 2.12 and moved to -2 at 2.08. The Totals market also saw a similar shift - over 3.75 at 2.00 moved to over 3.25 at 1.92.

Hypothetically speaking, if you placed a €100 bet on the draw in this game, the potential returns would have dropped from €955 to €768 within a half an hour window - emphasising just how important this kind of information can be.

Regardless of the result, we can once again see how two bettors placing a bet on the same market could get a completely different set of odds dependant on when they made the bet. If Bettor A knew about Messi’s sickness before the bookmaker and reacted quickly enough, they would get much better value than Bettor B who might have bet too early or too late 

What the soccer betting tips don’t know

Getting hold of team news before anyone else is perhaps the most common type of information that bettors can use to get an edge. There are various other types of information, mostly concerning lesser-known teams, which can be even more beneficial in soccer betting.

Back in February 2009, Conference Premier side Weymouth F.C were in financial turmoil. While this isn’t necessarily uncommon for a lower league side, only a select few were aware of how severe their struggles were. Following a 2-0 victory over Torquay, Weymouth lost 3-0 at home to Stevenage and played mid-table Rushden and Diamonds next.

Although Rushden and Diamonds would have been a slight favourite going into the fixture, if everyone knew that Weymouth had to field its youth team because they hadn’t paid the first-team medical insurance bill, it would have dramatically changed the odds available. Weymouth lost the fixture 9-0.

Kettering Town F.C is another example of a club’s finances influencing the outcome of a match. In October 2012, the Kettering players issued an ultimatum over unpaid wages - something that most bettors, and indeed bookmakers, were not aware of.

Ahead of a Southern Premier League game at home to Bashley, only ten players in the Kettering squad had been paid and thus, they could only field ten players for the match - they lost the match 7-0. Although Kettering had lost two of their last four matches, it was only by a single goal. Anyone with knowledge of the pay dispute and ultimatum could have taken advantage of Bashley’s odds knowing that they had a considerable advantage.

The difference between rumour and information

The emergence of social media platforms such as Twitter means we now have access to more information than ever before. Additionally, we live in an age of soccer betting tips where everyone and anyone claims to have valuable information.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee in terms of how credible or reliable the source of this information actually is. It might be a tipster trying to attract more interest to their website or a modern example of Chinese whispers, but the amount of false information available far outweighs that which is accurate and useful.

It might pay to react to a “leak” of information before anyone else does, but it could also majorly backfire if that information turns out to be false or unfounded. It is important to use a reliable source that can be trusted to only provide valid information when betting large amounts of money.